Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) refers to a group of genetic conditions that cause muscle weakness and atrophy in children and adults. “Atrophy” means that the mass and size of muscles is reduced.  This can also be described as muscle “wasting.” Motor nerves in the spinal cord control the muscles that are used for breathing, crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. With SMA, damaged motor nerves cause muscles to weaken and atrophy.

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